The Gender & Women’s Studies department of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has endorsed a platform calling “for the Abolition of the Police, ICE, Borders, and the Judicial System.”
The department reportedly shared the nine-point platform, which was created by the National Trans Youth Council, on Facebook with the description “something to believe in.”
“We Call for the Abolition of the Police, ICE, Borders and the Judicial System,” the post stated. “We demand abolition! Abolition of the police, abolition of borders and ICE, abolition of the current punishment-based justice system. We demand for our communities to be empowered to take care of themselves, for no borders, for rehabilitation and healing justice.”
“Abolition is a process that we are committed to fight for,” it concludes.
Sorry — this is completely and totally bananas. I’m a huge advocate of criminal-justice reform, and I think that there are far too many people who are locked away in prison for nonviolent, victimless acts such as drug crimes. I certainly would like to see these people released, and for drugs to be legalized so that fewer people take their place. For such offenders, I would agree that an approach of “rehabilitation” works much better than a punitive one and is less expensive.
But that’s certainly not the case with every crime. Unfortunately, there are also people in prison for violent crimes who are, by all accounts, impossible to rehabilitate. Like it or not, it’s an absolute fact that there is a such thing as a criminal beyond help, who cares nothing about other people or the rules of society. Psychopaths who murder other people definitely need to be locked away forever. What’s more, the threat of imprisonment might be deterring some people who are evil enough to commit murder from actually going through with it, which would also obviously be a good thing. And I believe that the vast majority of people would consider such stances sensible.
I’m all for holding the police accountable, but saying that we don’t need any police at all is just plain wrong. The folks who populate UIUC’s Gender & Women’s Studies Department might think that they have the right idea here, but I highly doubt they would continue to stand by this platform if, say, they had a murderer in their house. No . . . I bet they’d want to call 911 and get the help of the very police force they claim to wish didn’t exist.